June 21, 2023
Sean Leet – Co-founder and Chairman of Horizon Maritime Services
My name is Sean Leet. I am Co-Founder and Chairman of Horizon Maritime Services and a director of Miawpukek Horizon Maritime Services. With me today is Chief Misel Joe, the Saqamaw and Chief of the Miawpukek First Nation. We are partners in the Joint Venture that owns the Polar Prince. The Polar Prince is the support vessel for the OceanGate Expedition and is on scene and supporting the rescue mission as directed by the United States Coast Guard and OceanGate.
Today is National Indigenous People’s Day in Canada. Chief Joe, we acknowledge this day for you, the Miawpukek First Nation, and all first peoples in Newfoundland and Labrador and in Canada.
On behalf of myself, Chief Joe, and everyone at Miawpukek Horizon Maritime Services and Horizon Maritime Services, I want to say first that our thoughts and focus remain with the crew of the Titan and their families. We wish to thank everyone involved in this rescue mission, especially the US and Canadian coast guards, the organizations that have made their marine assets available, the French Government, TechnipFMC, Atlantic Towing, DOF, the many private companies who have dropped everything at a moments notice and without hesitation, and the various crews who are dedicated to bringing the search and rescue mission to a successful conclusion. In addition to the Polar Prince, we have also mobilized the Horizon Arctic to add to vessel support of this mission. We acknowledge and thank our client ExxonMobil who has, without question, given the vessel the time and space needed to respond to this incident. We also thank Premier Andrew Furey for his continuous offers of support from the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
The marine industry in this region is no stranger to responding to difficult incidents. We work together to ensure every possible effort is put into bringing people home. The people on board the Titan and their families are our focus. We care deeply about their wellbeing. All of us here in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, the United States, and around the world are unified in this work.
While the United States Coast Guard, in cooperation with the Canadian Coast Guard, is leading the search and rescue effort, our critical role remains in a support capacity.
It has been a very difficult few days for the crew and families of those onboard the Titan and the Polar Prince. The Polar Prince captain and crew have been steadfast in providing support during this very difficult time.
We have been supporting the Titanic expeditions for several years. The Polar Prince, a 72 meter vessel, remains at the Titanic site participating in rescue efforts. The vessel is an iconic former Canadian Coast Guard ice breaking vessel that has been upgraded with advanced technology and provides research and expedition support services to clients, primarily in the Arctic. Miawpukek Horizon purchased the Polar Prince in 2021.
The Horizon Arctic is also involved in this mission. The 94 meter vessel is one of the most powerful and versatile Offshore Support Vessels in the world. Often working internationally, this Canadian flagged vessel has recently performed rig moves, offshore wind infrastructure installations, and subsea surveys before returning to Newfoundland and Labrador for a seasonal project this summer.
The Horizon Arctic was enroute to the site on Sunday and then returned to port in St. John’s to pick up deep water equipment. Late last night, the Arctic crew loaded a US ROV which, thanks to the US military, arrived by air to St. John’s airport late yesterday. The vessel departed the Port of St. John’s at 5 am this morning and will arrive at the Titanic site tomorrow morning.
We are very aware of the time sensitivity around this mission.
Our crews and our onshore team are experts in their fields, and we will continue to support this effort in every way it can. We remain focused on contributing to the search for the Titan crew and continue to hold out hope that they will be located and brought home safely.
Miawpukek Horizon representative, Chief Misel Joe, Chief of the Miawpukek First Nation:
As Chief of the Miawpukek First Nation, I can tell you that our people are very concerned for the crew of the Titan. We are very proud of the Polar Prince, its crew, and the work that it does. This is a remarkable vessel, and we have no doubt that the captain and crew have been handling themselves with the utmost expertise and professionalism through this difficult time.
I also want to thank Sean and the support team here at Horizon for all they are doing to support the search and rescue operations.
I have been in constant contact with the operations team of the company, and have been reaching out to prayer groups across the country to bring hope to this effort.
We are praying for our friends on board the Titan submersible. We want them to come home safely. We ask everyone across Canada and the world to pray with us that we can find and rescue the crew of the Titan.